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Global Warming Definition As It's Taught in US Schools

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By    |   Sunday, 26 Oct 2014 01:56 PM

The guiding principle of how some teachers recommend the definition of global warming is taught in U.S. schools is that the climate of the world is changing, but we can still make a positive difference.

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There is no national standard for schools in the United States. Each state dictates what kind of science standards are taught in the classroom. A study of state-by-state science standards in 2012 by the Fordham Institute showed that American science standards lagged behind modern findings in many areas. In climate change, the states generally did a poor job of offering specific guidance to teachers. For instance, Florida’s standard regarding climate change was vague, "Discuss the large-scale environmental impacts resulting from human activity, including waste spills, oil spills, runoff, greenhouse gases, ozone depletion, and surface groundwater pollution.”

The National Science Teachers Association does support a set of national science education standards. In the area of climate change, the emphasis is on teaching human change.
The group offers a global warming definition that calls the phenomenon a “rise in Earth’s mean surface temperature.”

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There are several concepts that the U.S. teachers set as important goals for learning by certain benchmark ages:

By the end of fifth grade, students need to be able to understand that human life will be greatly affected if the temperature of the atmosphere continues to rise, that human activities have a major impact on the climate, but that positive actions can and are being taken to mitigate the problem. They are also encouraged to understand and look for creative solutions.

By the end of 8th grade, students move to a more complicated understanding that while human activities have damaged or destroyed certain habitats and natural resources, that changes have both positive and negative impacts. They are introduced to the concept of greenhouse gases and global warming and again are asked to come up with a solution that could be tested.

High school graduates should begin to understand more specifically the influence of human activity on CO2 emissions and how habitat destruction, pollution, and the overexploitation of the planet are causing major global challenges. High school age students will take a closer look at the solutions engineers and scientists are working toward to solve the problems.

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The guiding principle of how some teachers recommend the definition of global warming is taught in U.S. schools is that the climate of the world is changing, but we can still make a positive difference.
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Sunday, 26 Oct 2014 01:56 PM
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